Advert for Powell's Balsam of Aniseed, cough medicine
Medium: Print on paper
19th century Britain was still quite backward in terms of medicine: medical knowledge among the poorer classes in particular was still very much reliant on old folk remedies and home cures. Hence, a great deal of illnesses were blamed on "bad air" or "bad smells", and almost every minor illness was immediately dubbed a cold and treated as such.
Doctors were expensive, as was prescription medicine. Many chemists and druggists would mix their own tinctures and treatments and sell them direct to their customers, without a medical practitioner intervening. Marketing these products was very important financially: the very poor in particular could be persuaded to by home cures that in reality contained nothing more than candle wax, sawdust, lard or thick sugary liquids.